Sirena LaBurn

Sirena LaBurn

Sirena LaBurn (b. 1986)


Born in Nederland, Texas in 1986, Sirena LaBurn received her MFA in Painting from the New York Studio School (2014), and her BS in Arts Administration from Wagner College, New York (2009). Before beginning her MFA, LaBurn worked as the Collections Catalogue Assistant at the Stark Museum of Art, Orange, Texas, and was a resident at The Art Studio, Inc., Beaumont, Texas. 


From 2014-2017 she assisted Graham Nickson in his internationally recognized Drawing Marathons. From 2019-2021, LaBurn taught Drawing and Design courses as a Visiting Instructor and Adjunct Instructor at Lamar University, Beaumont, TX. She currently lives in Houston, Texas. 




2014           MFA, New York Studio School



2022           Said to Be Dreaming, Olympia, New York, NY

2022           Landscape & Memory, Pamela Salisbury Gallery, Hudson, NY

2021           In Rainbows, Western Gallery (virtual)

2021           Mythopaiea, 621 Gallery, Tallahasse, FL

2021           Powers at Play, The Art Studio Inc., Beaumont, TX (with Nathan Mullins)

2020           On Being Human, Valley House Gallery, Dallas, TX

2020           Texas Women, Western Gallery (virtual)

2020           Friends of 362 ½ Warren Street, Pamela Salisbury Gallery, Hudson, NY

2020           New York Studio School Annual Invitational, NY,NY (juried)

2020           New Western Talent, Western Gallery, online (juried)

2019           Amor Fati, Wagner College Gallery, Staten Island, NY

2019           Lamar University Annual Faculty Exhibition, Dishman Museum, Beaumont, TX

2019           New York Studio School Annual Invitational, NY, NY (juried)

2019           Winter 2019 Juried Show, Blue Mountain Gallery, NY, NY (Juror: Elisa Jensen)

2018           Desert Gods, Vivid Space, San Diego, CA (two-person show)

2018           Holiday Show, Vivid Space, San Diego, CA

2017           New York Studio School Annual Invitational, NY, NY (juried)

2015           3 Jurors=3 Shows, New York Studio School, NY, NY (juried)

2013           Recent Work, Student Gallery, New York Studio School, NY, NY 

2010           Member’s Show, 1st Pl., The Art Studio Inc., Beaumont, TX (Juror: Charlie Stagg)

2010           Neches River Festival Show, Beaumont Art League, Beaumont, TX (juried)

2009           Graduation Show, Wagner College, Staten Island, NY



2019           Alchemy Gallery, Galveston, TX

2017           Endless, Texas, Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Café de Arts, Beaumont, TX 

2015           Recent Work, Barcelon Colonia, Cologne, Germany

2014           Westward (MFA Thesis Exhibition), New York Studio School, New York, NY

2011           Objects of Familiarity, Barcelon Colonia, Cologne, Germany

2011           Facing Self, The Art Studio Inc,. Beaumont, TX



2020           Mercedes Matter Award, New York Studio School Alumni Exhibition

2019           Honorable Mention, New York Studio School Alumni Exhibition

2013           Henry Wolf Scholarship, New York Studio School; NY, NY

2013           Horace Goldsmith Scholarship, New York Studio School; NY, NY



  • 91.3 KLVU Public Radio, Interview for State of the Art with Joe Elwell. 5 March 2021.
  • Coughlan, Andy. “Myth, Magic and the West,” 2021.
  • Cate, Michelle. “Facing Self,” Beaumont Enterprise, CAT5. 7 May, 2011.
  • Bruyn, Haley. “Artist Shares Her Take on Texas,” Beaumont Enterprise. 21 October, 2017.




I have struggled with identity since childhood. At an early age, I confronted my ethnic identity,  later my gender identity and then my identity as a Texan. Often, my experience was being other: brown when everyone else was white; masculine when the accepted ideal was feminine; Texan when everyone else was New Yorker or European. Stereotypes and value judgements were projected onto to me from many fronts. I grappled, sometimes resigned, sometimes subverted, and finally rejected the thoughts of others so often imposed on my being. 


I eventually found solace in the idea that the one identity I could safely claim, the identity of  which I am “enough," is American. I began a fraught journey to understand the histories,  symbols, and cultural myths of the United States of America. Fascinated with imagery  associated with the American West, especially the imagery that so often is interpreted as  defining American values and identity, I began to watch classic Western films and read Western novels, and coupled these colonial cultural myths I discovered to historical readings. 


Primarily through oil paintings, my studio practice interrogates American myths. I question the creation, adoption, and use of imagery intrinsically linked to the construction of America as it is imagined today. The resulting paintings attempt to reflect my personal experiences, as well as my historical investigations to unearth and represent personal experiences, meanings, and identities that challenge predominant narratives of America. 



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